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April 17, 2012

"As Seen on TV"

New Mini Course Helps Carnival Booths Rerun Favorite Show Moments

By Abby Simmons


Midway visitors may see some unexpected architectural features on booths at this year's Spring Carnival and Reunion Weekend, April 19-21.

To help bring this year's "As Seen on TV" theme to life, a new optional one-unit mini course, Realization and Building of Themed Environments, was offered by School of Drama faculty members Kevin Hines and David Boevers.

Hines and Boevers are technical directors and have served as booth judges in the past. Hines said that the process of building a booth is similar to what is done in theater.

"We're probably going to do it again next year, and we hope to see more people take advantage of it," Hines said.

The class offered new techniques and methods for designing and building booths with a focus on safety. Hines said they also discussed material options and suppliers, which may have been unknown to students previously.

"It opened up the line of communication for students with professors," said Spring Carnival Committee Chair Meg Hayes (DC'11). "Some organizations are now introducing more sophisticated booth design features like curved walls and cantilevers."

"Shark Week," "Looney Tunes" and "Mythbusters" are just a few of the pop culture references that will go into some of the designs, she said.

Hayes, a graduate student in the Heinz College, said Madelyn Miller, director of Environmental Health and Safety, and Larry Cartwright, a College of Engineering faculty member, also are lending equipment and expertise to make sure student builders and Midway visitors are safe.

Sweepstakes Buggy Races

Two new teams will compete in this year's Sweepstakes buggy races. A group of students who first met while living in the Residence on Fifth have formed team APEX, and Delta Delta Delta Sorority and Delta Tau Delta Fraternity have partnered to form team Delta Force.

For a full preview of this year's competitive slate, fans can read Buggy Alumni Association Head Mechanic Sam Swift's weekly "Rolls Reports" at WRCT 88.3-FM will provide live race-day interviews and play-by-play commentary, and cmuTV will stream coverage at

Carnival Finale

The Activities Board has moved its headlining concert, previously held on Friday of Spring Carnival weekend, to 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The concert will end with fireworks.

"We made this change so that the show is similar to the Guster concert we helped organize last fall," said Activities Board Executive Chair Adam Kriegel, referring to the grand finale of Carnegie Mellon's celebration of William S. Dietrich II's historic $265 million gift to the university.

The concert's main act, Passion Pit, is an electropop band from Cambridge, Mass. Pittsburgh-based indie rock band Donora will open the concert, which is free and open to the public. The concert will take place on the CFA Lawn and does not require a ticket or wristband. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will move to Wiegand Gym, and wristbands will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the University Center Information Desk.

Students involved in planning these time-honored campus traditions said they appreciate the guidance they have received from Student Activities staff.

"I've visited our adviser, Taylor Grabowsky, nearly every day since Spring Break," Hayes said.

Sweepstakes adviser Kaycee Palko said fellow staff members from the Division of Student Affairs and volunteers from other divisions are essential to the success of the weekend.

"Many people have told me they look forward to Spring Carnival, because it's an opportunity for them to interact directly with our students," Palko said.

Alumni Relations also has been busy planning reunions with the assistance of academic departments, student organizations and other campus groups.

Highlights from Alumni Relations and its partners include Friday's All-Campus BBQ and "The Costumes of Downton Abbey," hosted by School of Drama costume shop manager Ken Chu (HNZ'12). Saturday's lineup includes the Cyert Center for Early Education's 40th Anniversary Open House, a chance for parents and alumni to reminisce, tour the center, and meet current staff and families. Scotch'n'Soda, one of the nation's oldest student theater organizations, will present "The Drowsy Chaperone" throughout the weekend.

More information about Spring Carnival and Reunion Weekend is available at and

Carnival Highlights

Thursday, April 19
Sweepstakes Design Competition
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Wiegand Gym

Opening Ceremony
3 p.m., Midway (Morewood
Parking Lot)

Kiltie Band Performance
4 p.m., Midway Tent

Friday, April 20
Preliminary Sweepstakes Races
8 a.m.-noon, Course is on Tech and Frew streets and Schenley Drive

Alumni Association All-Campus BBQ
11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Merson Courtyard (Rain Location: Wiegand Gym)

Mobot Races
Noon, Course in front of Wean Hall

The Costumes of "Downton Abbey"
1:30-2:30 p.m., Lobby of the Purnell Center for the Arts

Saturday, April 21
Sweepstakes Final Races and KidZone Activity Area
9 a.m.-noon, Course is on Tech and Frew streets and Schenley Drive

Cyert Center 40th Anniversary Open House
Noon-3 p.m., Cyert Center/Morewood Gardens

Spring Carnival & Sweepstakes Awards Ceremony
6 p.m., Midway tent

Concert and Fireworks Finale
7:30 p.m., CFA Lawn (rain location:
Wiegand Gym)

Scotch'n'Soda Production of "The Drowsy Chaperone"
8 p.m., Thursday, April 19
2 and 11 p.m., Friday, April 20
2 and 7 p.m., Saturday, April 21
All performances are in Rangos Hall